An airman on death row who murdering a fellow airman and his wife should get another day in court- according to the highest military appeals court.
According to the Air Force Times, a five-member court made a decision on Tuesday in favor of new sentencing for Senior Airman Andrew Witt, who murdered Senior Airman Andy Schliepsiek -and attempted to murder his wife, Jamie Schliepsiek- in 2004.
The first airman sentenced to death since 1992, Witt committed his heinous act on July 5th of 2004, while stationed at Robins Air Force Base, GA, when Andy Schliepsiek called to confront Witt for making a pass at his wife.
Showing up at the Schliepsiek residence, Witt stabbed Andy Schliepsiek three times, severing his spinal cord before the fourth and final stab to the heart resulted in his death. Jamie was stabbed five times, with four of the wounds in her back. A third victim -Jason King- was wounded while trying to stop the attacks.
A military panel convicted Witt of the premeditated murders of the Schliepsiek family and the attempted premeditated murder of King. After nearly half a day’s worth of deliberations over three days, the jurors sentenced Witt to be executed on October 13th, 2005.
However, the US Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals ruled 3-2 to dismiss the death penalty due to evidence that Witt had suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) after a motorcycle crash that took place four months before the murders. Nearly a year after the ruling, an appellate court ruled to uphold the death penalty.
While a new trial date has not been set for the Fort Leavenworth-based Witt, the odds may be in his favor- the last time the USAF even carried out an execution was in 1954, when two airmen were executed for the rape and subsequent murder of a Guam citizen.
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